This week, a reel written by guitarist Donogh Hennessy, ex-Lunasa, the opening tune on the group’s Otherworld album.
The Shetland islands are located to the north of Scotland, 245 km east of Bergen (Norway) and 640km from the Arctic. Given this situation between Norway and Scotland, Shetland music has always been at the crossroads of two cultures, influenced by Scandinavian music and the celtic music of the British isles.
One of the biggest influences on Shetland music was the hardanger fiddle, a type of violin introduced to Norway in the 16th century. The hardanger has 5 strings more than the standard violin, strings that resonate when the melody is played on the upper strings; the practice of letting adjacent strings ring open in shetland music comes from the hardanger’s influence.
The Green Meadows Reel, on Irish flute and tin whistle. Audio recording and video